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Top 20 Mario Power-Ups

Power to the plumber!

Every Nintendo fan knows what it's like to get a blue shell up their exhaust but let's forget about those Mario Kart power-ups for a moment as we look into the power-ups that have helped Mario through his adventures. He may look like a portly plumber but he has an arsenal of gadgets and power-ups that any super hero would be jealous of. After all, Superman can only fly but our Mario can do that and he can also transform into a frog, chuck fireballs and throw hammers. He's our super hero and here is our list of the plumber's top 20 power-ups.

Mini Mushroom
Mini Mushroom
20. Mini Mushroom (New Super Mario Bros.)

We all know the normal Mario rule. Mushrooms make you grow. Not the Mini Mushroom though. This blue and white spotted fungi makes Mario shrink to the size of a fly, allowing him to jump really high and run across the surface of water.

Carrot
Carrot
19. Carrot (Super Mario Land 2)

You've got to feel sorry for Mario. When other people eat carrots, not much happens. They get a bit less hungry and maybe it helps their vision, but that's all. Instead, Mario grows a pair of giant rabbit ears which somehow help him float in the air. Poor lad.

Blue Koopa Shell
Blue Koopa Shell
18. Blue Koopa Shell (New Super Mario Bros.)

It's impossible to count how many Koopa Troopas have been kicked across the floor by Mario over the years. At least the Blue Koopa Shell lets him see how it feels. After building up speed Mario can hide inside the shell and skid along, hurting anyone in his path.

Spring Mushroom
Spring Mushroom
17. Spring Mushroom (Super Mario Galaxy)

Either you love the Spring Mushroom - which wraps a huge coil around Mario and lets him bounce around stages while jumping ridiculously high - or you hate it. It's certainly one of the trickiest power-ups to control, but awesome once you "get" it.

Invisibility Cap
Invisibility Cap
16. Invisibility Cap (Super Mario 64)

Never mind all this Harry Potter cloak rubbish: Mario was doing the invisibility thing when Harry was still in nappies. The Invisibility Cap breaks Mario up into loads of tiny pieces, allowing him to safely walk through fences that he couldn't otherwise get past.

Hammer
Hammer
15. Hammer (Donkey Kong)

All hail the original Mario power-up! Donkey Kong's chucking barrels at you so what do you do? Grab a hammer and start swinging for dear life. It comes complete with nifty music, but awesomeness comes at a price - you can't jump or climb ladders with it.

Boo Mushroom
Boo Mushroom
14. Boo Mushroom (Super Mario Galaxy)

If Mario turns his back to a Boo, the Boo comes towards him. If Mario looks at a Boo, the Boo hides. But if Mario IS a Boo, then... well, we're confused. What happens if he looks in a mirror? Will he hide from himself? Either way, what's important is that this power-up is ruddy mint.

Ice Mushroom
Ice Mushroom
13. Ice Mushroom (Super Mario Galaxy)

He's been able to throw fireballs ever since the '80s, but Mario never really embraced the colder side of life until Super Mario Galaxy came along. The Ice Mushroom lets him throw ice balls at enemies and also allows him to walk on water, freezing it under his feet.

Starman
Starman
12. Starman (Super Mario Bros.)

On paper, it seems that the Starman power-up should be the best by far. Imagine if you could just run through everyone and defeat them with a single touch, while awesome music plays in the background. So why is it not even in our top ten? Because it's all over so painfully quickly!

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  1. dizzy boy Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 07:40

    if you do a search on tanuki, you`ll find that mario`s tanooki suit is based in part on the stories of these japenese creatures.
    anyways, that`s a good list of power up`s, my favourite has to be mega mushroom. i love running through stuff with that one.

  2. shad177 Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 08:03

    Fludd's my fave, If it counts as a power up that is.

  3. FriarLawrenceIII Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 08:46

    Nothing from sunshine? There was the hover nozzle, the water jet and the rocket, all of which were pretty awesome.

    Also, the Red star in Mario galaxy is > tanooki suit (although it is criminally underused.

  4. Dancingcyberman Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 09:18

    Great article, I really enjoyed reading that.

  5. purple_pikmin Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 10:22

    I agree about the red star, super mario galaxy 2 should have more stages that feature it.
    I spotted that there was a mistake, no. 13 the ice mushroom? I'm quite sure thats it's an ice flower. Also where's the little boot from super mario bros 3? That this is the most criminally underused mario power-up ever, and yet it is sooo awsome, how can this list not feature it?

  6. Midknights Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 11:27

    Don't mean to be a kill joy, but.


    There is no Ice mushroom. I'm familiar with the flower, but no mushroom. And you can't throw anything with it. Its purely for walking on water. _

  7. NinetailedFox Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 11:37

    My favourite is the Boo Mushroom. I'm a big fan of Boo and I just love it. :D

  8. GuyWhoLikesBlue2 Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 12:25

    I really liked the Blue Koopa Shell in NSMB, let's hope it remains for NSMB Wii

    Also, WHERE'S THE RED STAR FROM SMG?!?! THAT SHOULD BE NO. 1 :evil:

  9. mr FBE Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 19:16

    what, no P wing from SMB3? thats the ultimate power up in a side scroller- ability to fly beyond the reach of every obstacle meaning you have a clear run to the end

  10. Ai64 Sunday 30th Aug 2009 at 11:49

    I think the power ups from super mario bros 3 rarer than any other mario game.

  11. keiran09 Monday 31st Aug 2009 at 12:34

    u know, im sure this was in the mag a few weeks ago... :?

  12. Mario maniac Monday 31st Aug 2009 at 17:07

    that was messed up, why is the bee suit so high? why is the mega mushroom so low? the mini mushroom is way more fun than boo mario, why only number 20? ice balls?!?! i could go on for a while but i'm hungry.

  13. Mario maniac Monday 31st Aug 2009 at 17:09

    that was messed up, why is the bee suit so high? why is the mega mushroom so low? the mini mushroom is way more fun than boo mario, why only number 20? ice balls?!?! i could go on for a while but i'm hungry.

  14. Mario maniac Monday 31st Aug 2009 at 17:14

    that was messed up, why is the bee suit so high? why is the mega mushroom so low? the mini mushroom is way more fun than boo mario, why only number 20? ice balls?!?! i could go on for a while but i'm hungry.

  15. Jman2401 Tuesday 1st Sep 2009 at 08:05

    The origianal items from smb were good and the suits were awesemoe though the mega mush room i hope in new smb wii when mega mario squash and kill everyone

  16. Jman2401 Tuesday 1st Sep 2009 at 08:07

    I really liked the Blue Koopa Shell in NSMB, let's hope it remains for NSMB Wii

    Also, WHERE'S THE RED STAR FROM SMG?!?! THAT SHOULD BE NO. 1 :evil:

    imust agree both are good

  17. Lukeo10 Tuesday 1st Sep 2009 at 08:57

    I loved the Ice Flower, u iceskate round evrywhere

  18. GeDe Tuesday 1st Sep 2009 at 16:44

    Technically not a power-up, but anyone else like the Lakitu Cloud?

    Just the smug feeling of defeating the aerial, spectacled Koopa and then stealing his ride. :D

    Now that's a power-up with style!

  19. cosmickid Wednesday 2nd Sep 2009 at 07:23

    the mega mushroom isok but wheres the mega star? it's sooooooo cool!!

  20. MetallicA-knight Saturday 5th Sep 2009 at 01:47

    Best power up has to be the 1-up mushroom... I gives you 1-up! (Complete with awesome collection tune!)

  21. goombaguy2 Sunday 11th Jul 2010 at 15:03

    you forgot 1 thing....
    GOOMBAS SHOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

  22. culktishsips Monday 2nd Aug 2010 at 18:36

    My favorite will always be the Wing Cap. Being able to fly around those huge 3D environments is still a blast, and the music that accompanies Mario's flight ability is fantastic.

  23. princessdaisy008 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 19:40

    tanooki suit looks funny on him!!! :D :D :)

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